Development down

The construction industry is facing a persistent downturn province-wide.

Development in Prince Albert is much slower than it was this time last year, numbers released by Statistics Canada show.

The national agency recently issues its report on development permits as of the end of May, and Prince Albert is lagging behind the development seen last year.

In May 2016, there were 27 permits issued and 37 new residential units built. This May, there were 25 permits issued, but only seven units created.

The value of those permits is only about one quarter of what was seen in May 2016.

There is a glimmer of hope, though. There were 23 multiple unit permits for new development issued in May, higher than last year’s mark of 20 permits.

For non-residential development, Prince Albert issued three more building permits than it did last year, however the dollar value was only about one fifth of last year’s total.

Last year saw one permit for a single project worth more than seven times what the four permits issued this year total.

The monthly trend seemingly reflects a pattern. The current dollars, number of permits and units created for residential development don’t come close to half of last year’s annual totals, five months through the calendar year.

On the non-residential side, the numbers are closer. Five months through the year, the city has more than half the number of permits and dollar amounts seen through 12 months in 2016.

The numbers still could swing far in either direction, though, as construction ramps up through the warmer months of the year.